|Highlighted Antonov Aircraft
|An-148 / An-158
|An-72 / An-74
The Antonov Company was founded in May of 1946, and was headed by the eminent aircraft designer Oleg Antonov. Over the years more than one hundred types and modifications of passenger, transport and special purpose airplanes have been designed by the Antonov team. More than 22,000 aircraft have been built since the company's founding. Antonov aircraft have set more than 500 world records.
The company includes a design bureau, a flight test and development base, aircraft production facilities, maintenance and repair services, and flight crew training.
The company's air transport subdivision is known as "Antonov Airlines", a leader in the world market of air transportation of superheavy and oversized cargos.
Its headquarters offices are in the Ukraine, with other offices in the United Kingdom and in Houston, Texas in the U.S. Every year the airline carries hundreds of thousands of tons of unique cargoes, including those which can not be transported otherwise, to 800 airports across the world.
The airline's fleet includes one An-225 Mriya, seven An-124-100 Ruslans, one An-22 Antei, two An-12s, one An-26 and one An-74.
In the late 1980s, the Antonov Bureau achieved global prominence after introduction of its extra large cargo jet aircraft. The An-124 "Ruslan" became the Soviet Union's mass-produced strategic airlifter. The airlifter made its maiden flight in 1982 and entered service with the Soviet Air Forces in 1986.
Today, Antonov continues its superiority in the design and production of extra large aircraft. The giant Antonov 124-100 Ruslan is a heavy lifter aircraft intended for the transportation of heavy and oversized cargo and various special-purpose vehicles.
The two major An-124 variants are the basic An-124 and the Russian civil certified An-124-100. Other models include the An-124-100-150 and the An-124-100M-150. Its overall look is similar to the USAF Lockheed C-5 Galaxy but has a 25% greater payload.
The An-124 rides on 24 wheels. The front landing gear has two 2-wheel units which are steerable. The front landing gear was adjustable which allows the transport to "kneel", to assist cargo loading. The main landing gear configuration consists of 10 wheels on each side, for a total of 20.
Landing gear configuration on the Antonov An-124
The 4-engine configuration produces a top speed of 540 miles per hour, a cruise speed of 500 miles per hour, and a range of 3,300 miles with a service ceiling of 40,000 feet. The plane can operate under extreme conditions, and land on rough airfields and hard-packed snow.
It features both nose and tail cargo doors for simultaneous loading and unloading.
About 55 An-124 aircraft have been built, with most in commercial use and only a small number assigned directly to the air transport arm of the Russian air forces.
Numbers of active aircraft depend on the reporting source, and changes in political, military and economic conditions. The following is one list of active An-124 operators (as of 2016):
Antonov Airlines was the first operator to offer the An-124-100 "Ruslan" to the commercial market.
Today, the airline is the owner and operator of seven An-124-100s, in four different models. The base model can load shipments weighing up to 120,000kg (264,555lbs).
The An-124 fuselage comprises a double-deck layout. The aircraft contains hatches in the upper deck allowing access to the wing and tail unit to facilitate maintenance when proper equipment is unavailable. There is also a well-equipped living area for the crew, which is useful on long-haul flights or when operating in remote areas. The plane uses its specially-designed landing gear to adjust its ground angle allowing the aircraft to "kneel". The An-124-100 can then be loaded through the nose cargo door using its own extendable ramp.
Two of Antonov Airlines’ seven An-124-100s have been modified to accept 150,000kg (330,693lbs). These include the "150" in the model number.
The "M" in the model number indicates the aircraft has updated Western avionics such as Litton INS, Rockwell Collins GPS and weather radar and Honeywell ground proximity warning system.
Four An-124 models have been developed for Antonov Airlines:
An-124-100 International Cargo Transporter, Registration UR-82029, Antonov Airlines - 2016 (Photos by DELEHELLE Eric)
An-124-100 International Cargo Transporter, Registration UR-82073, Antonov Design Bureau - 2011 (Photo by DELEHELLE Eric)
An-124-100 International Cargo Transporter, Registration UR-82073, Antonov Design Bureau - 2015 (Photo by DELEHELLE Eric)
An-124-100M International Cargo Transporter, Registration UR-82007, Antonov Airlines - 2016 (Photos by DELEHELLE Eric)
An-124-100M International Cargo Transporter, Registration UR-82027, Antonov Airlines - 2017 (Photo by DELEHELLE Eric)
An-124-100-150 International Cargo Transporter, Registration UR-82072, Antonov Design Bureau - 2016 (Photos by DELEHELLE Eric)
An-124-100M-150 International Cargo Transporter, Registration UR-82009, Antonov Airlines - 2017 (Photos by DELEHELLE Eric)
Volga-Dnepr Airlines provides the whole package of logistics services for air charter movements of complex, special and oversize cargo. The airline operates a unique fleet of ramp aircraft comprising of 12 Antonov-124-100 "Ruslan" and five Ilyushin-76 freighter aircraft.
Volga-Dnepr also operates Boeing 747 and Ilyushin Il-76 cargo jets.
|Volga-Dnepr An-124-100, Registration RA-82042 (Photo by DELEHELLE Eric)
|Volga-Dnepr An-124-100 RA-82047 (Photo by DELEHELLE Eric)
|Volga-Dnepr An-124-100 RA-82081 (Photo by DELEHELLE Eric)
|Volga-Dnepr An-124-100 RA-82047 in flight (Photo by DELEHELLE Eric)
An-124-100, RA-82013, of Russia's 224th Flight Unit - 2011 (Photos by DELEHELLE Eric)
An-124-100, RA-82040, of Russia's 224th Flight Unit - 2012 (Photo by DELEHELLE Eric)
|An-124-100, Registration 5A-DKN, Libyan Air Cargo - 2011 (Photos by DELEHELLE Eric)
|An-124-100, Registration RA-82077, Poliet Flight - 2011 (Photos by DELEHELLE Eric)
|Shown below is a spotting guide comparing the Boeing 747-8F to the Antonov An-124-100, both wide-body jet freighters with four engines. Also shown is the similar designed Lockheed C-5 Galaxy.
Antonov enlarged the "Ruslan" design creating the An-225 "Mriya" which was unveiled at the Paris Air Show in 1989. "Mriya" is still the world's largest and heaviest aircraft. It entered commercial service in 2001.
The An-225 is called "Mriya", meaning "Dream" in Ukrainian. It has 242 world records to its name and is the inspiration for Antonov Airlines’ slogan: “No other name carries more weight”.
The Antonov 225 features six jet engines and a massive split tail structure. It rides on 32 wheels, four in the front landing bear, and 28 on the main landing gear.
Only one An-225 has been built, with a second airframe reportedly 70% complete.
Reports are that it was destroyed during the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February of 2022.
An-225 Mriya of Antonov Airlines, Registration UR-82060 - 2011 (Photos by DELEHELLE Eric)
In June of 1965 the Soviet Union unveiled a new cargo plane at the Paris Air Show. The Antonov An-22 "Antei" was powered by four turboprop engines with contra-rotating propellers and featured twin tailfins.
The aircraft was 190' feet in length, with a wingspan of 211 feet. Sixty-eight An-22s were built before production ended in 1976, including 37 of the original An-22 design and 28 of the updated An-22A.
The An-22 remains the largest turbo-prop powered aircraft in the world.
In the summer of 2016, airframe UR-09307 was returned to active service with Antonov Airlines after being in storage for seven years.
The AN−12 is a medium-range, four-engine turboprop transport designed in the Soviet Union, the military version of the Antonov An-10.
The maiden flight of the An-12 was in 1957 and production continued in the USSR until 1973. It is used in a variety of roles from search and rescue operations to equipment transportation.
In military use, the An-12 has the capacity for up to 100 fully equipped paratroopers or 20,000 kg (44,090 lb) of cargo, which is loaded through the rear loading ramp/door.
In terms of size and capability, it is similar to the Lockheed C-130 Hercules.
A total of 1,248 were built, with many variants, and has been used by a number of military organizations in many countries.
Antonov An-12BK, Registration UR-CAH (Photo by DELEHELLE Eric)
Antonov An-12BP, Registration UR-CGW, of Méridian Aviation (Photo by DELEHELLE Eric)
Antonov An-12BP, Registration UR-CFB (Photo by DELEHELLE Eric)
Ruby Star Antonov An-12BK, Registration EW-275TI (Photo by DELEHELLE Eric)
The Antonov Company offers a complete range of regional passenger planes, from the 27−seat turboprop Antonov An-38 to the Antonov−148 and Antonov−158 jets.
The An-148/158 airliner is a high-wing monoplane with two turbofan jet engines mounted in pods under the wing. Seating capacity ranges from 68 to 99 passengers.
A built-in auto-diagnosis system, auxiliary power unit, high reliability, and the wing configuration allow the An-148 and An-158 to be used at poorly equipped airfields. The An-148/158 are the only regional and short-range aircraft certified for take-off and landing on unpaved runways..
Over 40 Antonov 148/158 series jetliners have been delivered to a number of airlines.
|Antonov An-148, a twin-jet regional airliner
(photo courtesy of the Antonov Company)
The AN−140 regional aircraft is intended for passenger and mixed cargo/passenger transportations. It can be operated in a wide range of the airfield heights and climate conditions, under good and adverse weather conditions, by day and night.
The aircraft's design features a high wing position, standard tail configuration and two wing−mounted ТV3−117VМА−SBМ1 turboprop engines. It can seat up to 52 passengers.
|Antonov An-140 turboprop airliner
(photos courtesy of the Antonov Company)
The An-72 is a light short takeoff and landing (STOL) jet transport airplane intended for operations on non-equipped air strips as short as 600m. Twin jet engines are installed above the wing upper surface. The aircraft was serially manufactured at the Kharkiv Aircraft Manufacturing Company where 114 airplanes of this type were built between 1984 and 1992.
The An-72 and the related An-74 get their nickname, Cheburashka, from the large engine intake ducts, which resemble the oversized ears of the popular Soviet animated character of the same name.
Produced in tandem with the An-72, the An-74 can be fitted with wheel-ski landing gear, de-icing equipment and a number of other upgrades allowing the aircraft to support operations in Arctic or Antarctic environments. A total of 195 were built.
|Antonov An-74, Registration UR-74026, Motor Sich (Photos by DELEHELLE Eric)
The Antonov An-2 is a Soviet single-engine biplane aircraft designed and manufactured by the Antonov Design Bureau beginning in 1946 for utility/agricultural purposes.
Over 18,000 An-2 aircraft were built up to 2001, and many remain in service with military and civilian operators around the world.
Antonov An-2, Registration HA-ABD (Photos by DELEHELLE Eric)
Antonov An-2, Registration SP-FAF, Les ailes de l'Europe
Antonov An-2, Registration SP-KBA
The Antonov An-26 is a twin-engined turboprop civilian and military light transport aircraft, designed and produced in the Soviet Union from 1969 to 1986.
Antonov adapted the ramp design of the An-40 to the An-24 fuselage, resulting in the An-26. Using the An-24 airframe, it features high-set cantilevered wings, twin turboprops and a stalky main undercarriage. Military equipment that can be configured on the An-26 includes tipup paratroop canvas seats, an overhead traveling hoist, bulged observation windows and parachute static line attachment cables.
The original design of the ramp door, which slides under the fuselage or lowers down to the ground, ensures quick loading and unloading operations, transportation of large-size cargoes and equipment as well as convenience for parachute dropping of cargoes and troops.
The An-26 can function in a secondary bomber role when configured with underwing bomb racks. The racks are attached to the fuselage in front of and behind the rear landing gear.
During production from 1969 to 1986, a total of 1,398 An-24 were built.
Antonov An-26 No. 603 of the Hungarian Air Force (Photo by DELEHELLE Eric)
Antonov An-26 No. 603 of the Hungarian Air Force in flight
Antonov An-26 No. 606 of the Hungarian Air Force (Photo by DELEHELLE Eric)
|Antonov An-26B of Vulcan Air, Registration Number UR-CQD (Photos by DELEHELLE Eric)
Antonov An-26 No. 2409 of the Czech Air Force
Antonov An-26 of Bright Flight, Registration No. LZ-FLA (Photo by DELEHELLE Eric)